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The Chicago Police Department (CPD) is facing a shortage of officers due to a low applicant turnout. Not only are officers retiring in record numbers; many are leaving the city department for smaller ones. According to a recent publication by CBS 2 News, on Oct. 8, 2021, many Chicago leaders believe this shortage will become worse before it gets better.
Dana Kozlov, Political Investigator with CBS 2, spoke with a former officer about his decision to get out of the city. The person wanted to remain anonymous but stated, “I think that you have to take care of yourself first.”
The former officer explained how self-preservation was one of the reasons he left the city’s police department. This ex-officer had been with the CPD for almost eight years. He elucidated that he “was frustrated with the work schedule, and being put in unexpected situations.”
He believes that Chicago police officers are overworked and under-compensated. The former police officer stated that he knows of at least 10 other police officers who have done the same thing in just the past year. He added a few other reasons for leaving are:
- Plummeting CPD ranks.
- Canceled days off.
- Forced overtime.
He felt the working conditions and situations were just going to get worse. The former officer added that ”
Alderman Anthony Beale (9th) believe between the large number of retirements mixed with officer leaving for smaller departments, has provoked a policing crisis in Chicago. Beale declared:
People don’t want to be the police. The police don’t want to be the police.
Recently, the Alderman asked the city’s Budget Director Susie Park for the estimated number of sworn police officers vacancies on Jan.1, 2022. Parks sent him a memo stating they are expecting that number to be 908. This does not include those who unexpectantly retire or resign.
According to Beale, the city is currently down around “1,600 officers.” So he is expecting the number for 2022 to be much higher than the 908 expected in Park’s memo.
Even if the city wanted to fill all of the current vacancies, it could not. At the budget hearing earlier this week, Police Superintendent David O’Neal Brown announced to committee members roughly 5,000 people registered to attend Chicago’s police academy this year. In past years, the city had around 30,000 applicants.
This year’s low applicant numbers along with officers retiring or leaving contribute to the city’s officer shortage.
Written by Sheena Robertson
CBS 2 Chicago: Burnout And Low Turnout Of Applicants Leaving CPD With Officer Shortage; ‘People Don’t Want To Be The Police’; by Dana Kozlov
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Inventorchris’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Alyson Hurt’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License